Area schools hit by state testing outage last week

Published 8:53 am Thursday, May 16, 2019

Last Friday many schools across Mississippi saw their state testing affected when the electronic system used suffered issues, including schools in the LOU Community 

Nearly one-third of the school districts in Mississippi reported problems, including Oxford and Lafayette, per a report by the Associated Press. 

The testing service Questar Assessment had intermittent outages during testing sessions on May 10, causing Oxford and Lafayette students to have to finish their exams at another time. Mississippi’s Department of Education has asked the New Jersey-based Educational Testing Service about the cause of the interruption of service. 

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Lafayette’s Upper Elementary School saw Session II of the fourthgrade math exam suffer interruptions. It was not a complete blackout to the testing site, with a handful of kids being able to log in and take the exam out of a 20-student classroom.  

“That caused a little bit of an issue for us because we couldn’t stop those three or four (students) from testing,” Lafayette County School District testing coordinator Patrick Robinson said. “It just threw us off schedule for the day, but we were able to regroup and get everybody completed.” 

Attempts to administer the test ceased around 11 a.m. on May 10 and once students returned from lunch, the service was fully restored and they were able to complete the exams. Lafayette completed all their required state testing this Tuesday.

Oxford School District did not have the same luck as Lafayette schools did. Fifth grade at Oxford Intermediate School was in the middle of taking their English Language Arts exam when the issues began last Friday. Smaller groups in third and fourth grade at Della Davidson were also being administered state tests.

“We waited to see if Questar was able to resolve the issues, and after an hour we decided to pause the tests at both schools due to the ongoing problems,” OSD testing coordinator Duncan Gray said. 

Both OIS and Della Davidson did not attempt to resume testing on Friday and opted to resume testing on Monday without issues.